2:12 baptism. Since the rite of male circumcision was specifically a sign of identity with the earthly people of God, so baptism has now become the symbolic initiatory rite of all God’s people, whether male or female, Jew or Gentile, into the heavenly family of God. It also, like circumcision, symbolizes separation from sin and unto God, but in a different and more meaningful way than circumcision can do. It identifies the believer with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, as we are “buried with Him” in the baptismal waters, then “risen with Him” to a new life. See also notes on Romans 6:4-13.